A COUPLE spent just over £1,000 renewing a 30-year-old campervan so they could travel to Australia, while trapped in the country during the Coronavirus pandemic.
Tommy Lloyd, 29, and Becca Hill, 23, bought the 1991 Toyota Hiace for $9,500 Australian dollars (£5421.51) in 2021.
The British couple were living in Noosa, Queensland when they were approached by a mechanic who recognized the couple from Becca’s YouTube channel.
Tommy said, “It was like he was heaven sent because he was able to help us find a van.”
Before meeting their trusted mechanic Tony, the couple had spent three months looking for the road house of their dreams.
They started the project in August 2021, taking eight weeks to renew while both working in Australia.
The van was already equipped with a bed and a kitchen, but they wanted to be self-sufficient on the road so they installed a solar panel.
They made the space their own by dyeing the curtains, adding a surfboard rack and mounting jerry cans, while decorating the van with white pillows and bedding.
While they paid for the parts, Tony the mechanic did all the refurbishment for free, bringing the refurbishment total to $2,000 Australian Dollars (£1,116.60).
Tommy said, “Luckily Tony, our mechanical guru, knew all the places where we could get the parts we needed, and at the cheapest prices.”
After manning the van, they circled the entire circumference of Australia, covering 15,906 kilometers (9,883 miles).
While on the road, the couple spent about $1,720 a month on amenities like food, fuel, and activities.
Must-do activities have popped up along the way like swimming with whale sharks and manta rays, getting up close and personal with a kangaroo, bungee jumping naked, becoming skilled divers, and playing with sea lions.
Becca said: “It has been incredible to have the most famous and beautiful parts of the country, such as Whitsunday Island, the Great Barrier Reef and Fraser Island, all to ourselves.
“We feel like the luckiest people in the world to have had the one in a million chance to see these world-famous landmarks in complete privacy and seclusion.”
Tommy said, “Doing everything we wanted to do as a tour while eating out and looking for flights would have cost us about $30,000 each, but we were able to do it for less than half and still see all the things we wanted to see.”
Despite a few breakdowns along the way, the couple who live in Manly, Sydney are planning a trip to Southeast Asia, where they’ll hit the road again in another trusty van.